Every six months, or so, I get together with my best friend. We have lunch together and then spend the day doing something interesting. Sometimes it is shopping, walking around NYC, or lounging on the beach. This past meetup was in Manhattan. Andrew was joining us and he really wanted to include Eataly in the day. My friend was coming into New York from Westchester County and we were coming from Suffolk County. We met at Penn Station (NYCs - in fact USAs largest train station). We had a brilliant lunch at Tracks inside of the station. It has become my go-to bar and grill in NYC. It has fab food and shellfish (crazy good oysters) and a huge bar that serves Penfolds as a house wine. This is a comfortable place for Andrew and I. The staff, especially Liam (best bartender EVER) make us feel at home, even though we are in a place that throngs of humanity pass through every day.
My friend had a Spicy Chicken Sandwich and the beef chili. Andrew also had the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and a wonderful warm bowl of New England Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl. (a favorite) I had a beautiful Blue Cheese Burger and a Shrimp Cocktail. We all had Sweet Potato Fries. We enjoyed this feast with Pepperwood Pinot Noir and Penfolds Chardonnay.
The food was awesome but the point of the day was the companionship. We talked about everything that occupied our minds. We even had a neighbor at the bar who seemed fascinated by our animated talk. It might have been the fact that my friend is very attractive. My friend would kill for me (and vice-versa) and she got animated when we were discussing an incident where someone hurt my feelings. After lunch we walked to Eataly - a short walk to 23rd and 5th.
The meat counter was my favorite part of the experience. They had EVERYTHING! I chose a whole rabbit. I wanted a wild boar roast but I was talked out of it. The butcher wrapped my rabbit and held it for me until I was ready to go to checkout. Next time, I will ask the butcher to quarter the rabbit, just to make it easier on me during the prep time.
I did not get into the wine shop. I was in an expansive mood and we were afraid that I would go crazy and buy too much!
And that's not even the best part! The best is getting together with my dear friend and catching up on our lives and stories. I love being with people that I love.